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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I guess it was bound to happen ...

Last night I got home from a busy day of running.  Some friends (old and new) and I went to Kraynak's, a Christmas display and huge toy store, and Daffin's Candies (chocolate!!!!).  We also had too much food as we ate lunch at the Golden Corral.  I got home later than I had anticipated, got the kids in the car and ran some errands that needed done.  We got home around 7:30, did the usual homework and bedtime routine.  

Once the boys were tucked in, I did my normal Facebook check to see what had happened that day.  I noticed I had a few new 'likes' on my page, Kimberly Vensel Photography.  Sometimes when someone likes my page and I have no idea who they are, I will click on their name to see where they came from.  I'm curious that way.  :)

This one particular new fan had one of my photos posted as her cover photo.  Well, not exactly.  It had been altered, but it was definitely my photo.  My first reaction was anger.  I was fuming mad!  What?!  Who?!  Why?!  I noticed that one of her facebook friends was my niece and the photo that she had as her cover was a photo I took recently of my great-niece, this niece's one-year-old. 

After a little investigating, I discovered that she is the baby's other grandmother.  And that this same photo had been altered a couple times.  I contacted the mom (my niece) to find out if she knew anything about this.  She felt horrible about it, which she didn't need to, since she didn't know anything about it.  After some conversation, she said she'd contact the woman (the baby's father's mom) and tell her about it.

I debated how to handle this.  Stealing someone else's photo not only isn't cool, it is illegal.  After pondering whether to contact her directly or not, I opted to post a general blurb to my page.

Just a friendly reminder to all my awesome clients and their family/friends ... you may use one of my photos as your profile picture or cover photo, and you may tag them and share them, but please don't alter them in any way, by cropping or editing or removing my watermark. It is considered a copyright infringement and is frowned upon. Thank you for respecting your photographer.

And then I waited.  And fumed a little more.  And downloaded the photos that she had on her page that once were mine, but had been altered.  Badly.  Just wait until you see.

After about 30 minutes, she responded that she was sorry.  Her uncle had altered my photo and she would ask him not to do that anymore.  I responded by asking her to kindly remove the altered photo from her cover photo.  And I told her that if she wanted to use my original photo, she was welcome to, but that my watermark needed to be on it.  So she did.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the photos here so you could get a chuckle out of them the way I did.  Once I was done being angry about someone stealing my picture.  :)

Here's the original photo ...
Bella - original

Here's the photo that was in her cover on facebook.  Awful edit #1 ...
Someone's awful edit #1

And after scrolling down her page to try to figure out who this person was and why she'd be using my photo as her cover, I came across awful edit #2 ...
Someone's awful edit #2
Notice the hack job trying to remove my watermark.  Although I'm kinda glad he removed my watermark because I wouldn't want to claim either of these edits as mine.  :)

I'm sure this man meant well, and maybe wasn't aware that editing my photo was stealing.  Hopefully he won't do anything like this again.

I'm not posting this so you can bash on these people.  That won't be helpful.  Even if it is tempting.  :)  Just wanted to share so that you can be aware that stuff like this happens.  And you can chuckle at awful editing jobs.  :)

Sharing this for Project 52 since I took the original photo of Bella on Veteran's Day.

Kleinworth & Co., Project 52, photo sharing, weekly Monday blog link up


Melissa said...

OH MY WORD! Wow. Those edits are kind of hilarious. And tacky. And TERRIBLE! (They're only funny b/c they're so horrible.) I would have been mad too. I think people really don't know (b/c they don't THINK! I mean, if they thought about it, it would surely be common sense! You would hope!). But i think you handled it well. I saw the FB status, and thought you worded it really nicely. Crazy!

I am glad she said she was sorry & fixed it though! GEEZ!

Rainey said...

I think with the invention of photo sharing, people really don't think about it. Everyone has some form of a photo editor on the computer these days and just think, "I want to make a banner for my FB page and this cute one of my granddaughter would do the trick," and they really just don't think about it being illegal. It doesn't make it better, but at least it happened with someone who truly was sorry and fixed the problem.

Jenn Bowers said...

YIKES! That would make me mad, too! I think you handled it great!

Pieni Lintu said...

Great shots!! :)